Mitch Albom, America's favorite fun-sized poetastering fabulist, decided to use his Sunday column space in the shrinking Detroit Free Press to whine about America's service workers in the haughtiest fashion possible.
Mitch takes conversations he claims to have had with baristas, waiters, etc., and then he writes petulant things about those interactions.
The Starbucks fellow smiles.
"How can I help you?"
"Medium coffee, room for cream."
He fills a cup. He stares at it.
"Do you want room for cream?" he asks.
Is it just me? Or does no one in the service business listen the first time you speak? It seems that any transaction now requires at least one repeat. Sometimes two. Sometimes the person actually walks away, then comes back and says, "Did you say rye toast or sourdough?"
Mitch Albom just referred to someone as a "Starbucks fellow." Mitch Albom is the absolute worst person. (And, you know, Mitch, we don't all have your ears.) The column proceeds with a few more of these little vignettes, but the best part comes when Mitch gives us a precious "What does this all mean about America?!?!" paragraph:
I blame TV. I blame video games. I blame the mindless blare that our kids have been weaned on, noise, explosions, blasting music, 100 images a minute. No wonder we can't stay focused long enough to remember soup or salad.
But where is this going? If, as a nation, we cannot stay "on task," what hope do we have?
Hi, Mitch? Do you want to know the real reason why the people who serve you coffee and bring you refills for your Coke Zero sometimes ask you to repeat yourself? It's because their jobs are actually kind of difficult. Not everyone gets to make shit up for a living.
Columns like this make me afraid for the state of American letters. I blame tweed jackets. I blame Doc Martens. I blame bad haircuts. I blame TV. I blame ESPN. I blame all that money going into all those pockets of all those junior-sized slacks belonging to Mitchie and his idiot kind, some of whom now think they have a right to look down their noses (or up, in Mitch's case) at the folks in our service sector. You want mindless blare? Try watching The Sports Reporters. No wonder we can't stay focused long enough to write something that might actually be meaningful.
But where is this going? If, as a nation, we can't say, "Go fuck yourself, Mitch Albom. Hard." then what hope do we have?
Certainly, sir ... what did you say again? [Detroit Free Press]